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Rediff.com  » Business » RCom bags World Cup sponsorship for $103 mn

RCom bags World Cup sponsorship for $103 mn

July 16, 2007 08:33 IST

Reliance Communications has grabbed the rights to be one of the global sponsors for World Cup cricket.

The telecom major has paid over $ 103 million to get the rights for eight years, which include two World Cups, the 20-20 World Cup and the Championship Trophy.

When contacted, a Reliance Communications spokesperson declined comment. Hutch, LG, Pepsi and Hero Honda were the global sponsors for the 2007 World Cup.

The deal includes an array of rights -- exclusive ground signage, free use of the World Cup logo, use of the company's name in the background during press conferences and award ceremonies among others.

Industry experts said the sponsor also got the first right of refusal for buying air time in the category it operated from the broadcaster, who has the rights over the Cup.

But the most important one is that no competitor can use any cricketer for advertising.

For instance, Hutch won't be able to use Rahul Dravid (if he plays in the World Cup) for advertising its mobile services, but Reliance will have freedom to use Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

There also cannot be another global sponsor from the same category (like Reliance in telecom). Says a senior executive of a telecom company: "If you have a clear cricket strategy in place, you can wipe out competitors for those 30-45 days and make an impact on the audiences."

What Reliance Communications can leverage are over 18 ICC tournaments with two ICC Cricket World Cups, in Asia (2011) and Australasia (2015), and a minimum of three ICC Champions Trophy tournaments.

Also included are the first two ICC Twenty20 World Championships, in South Africa (2007) and England (2009), the latter taking place in the ICC's centenary year.

Surajeet Das Gupta in New Delhi
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